Confluence | Oct 4, 2019 | 0
Clinton Emails, Puerto Rico, Rightwing Media: 3 Stories You Should Read 8/30/2018
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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In the category of: Fake news.
The Washington conventional wisdom presupposes a kind of symmetry between our polarized political parties. Liberals and conservatives, it is said, live in separate bubbles, where they watch different television networks, frequent different Web sites, and absorb different realities. The implication of this view is that both sides resemble each other in their twisted views of reality. Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity, in other words, represent two sides of the same coin.
This view is precisely wrong, according to a provocative new book by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts that will be published next month by Oxford University Press. The book’s title, “Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics,” is a mouthful, but the book’s message is almost simple. The two sides are not, in fact, equal when it comes to evaluating “news” stories, or even in how they view reality. Liberals want facts; conservatives want their biases reinforced. Liberals embrace journalism; conservatives believe propaganda. In the more measured but still emphatic words of the authors, “the right-wing media ecosystem differs categorically from the rest of the media environment,” and has been much more susceptible to “disinformation, lies and half-truths.”
In the category of: Not so fantastic for the dead people.
President Donald Trump, facing a drastically revised death toll in Puerto Rico a year after dual hurricanes devastated the island, offered a still-rosy outlook of his administration’s handling of the disaster on Wednesday.
“I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta during an exchange with reporters at the White House. “We’re still helping Puerto Rico.”
It was an optimistic accounting of his administration’s handling of the natural disaster, which left much of the US territory without power for weeks and resulted in thousands of deaths.
The island’s governor formally raised the death toll from 64 to 2,975 on Tuesday following a study conducted by researchers at George Washington University.
In the category of: Someone needs adult supervision of his iPad time.
On Wednesday, sometime between the president’s morning ritual of slaughtering a baby goat so he can use the blood to moisturize his scalp, and typing on his iPad that he affectionately calls the “flat one”, the president tweeted yet another mistruth from his presidential Twitter account.
According to the New York Daily News, Trump tweeted an unsubstantiated claim that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails. Presumably, with a head full of baby goat’s blood.
We know that Trump wrote this tweet because of the random capitalization throughout, also, the exclamation point; because nothing says “I’m not on reading level” like an exclamation point for no good reason!
The president’s tweet forced the FBI to have to answer questions about a president’s TWEET!
While a Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment, an FBI official told the Daily News the bureau has “not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”
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